Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide to Pronouns in Use for Students

Students can register their pronouns in use on CourseWorks via the Name & Pronouns Recording option available in each course (*Note: This option is only available within courses. If you do not currently have any courses on your Courseworks homepage, you will need to wait for your courses to be added):

  • Open a Chrome or Firefox web browser. (Note: Safari will not work for Name & Pronouns Recording recording.)
  • Log into CourseWorks.
  • Find the “Name & Pronouns Recording” link on the left-hand navigation of your Courseworks/Canvas course.
  • Click the “Record Name” button next to your name, and a drop-down menu will appear.
  • Select your Pronouns in Use from that drop menu. (Note: you are welcome to record your name in addition to registering your pronouns at this point in the process; however, recording your name is not required before registering your pronouns).
  • When you're done, click "Submit and Finish."
  • Please note: This function may also be found under the title "Namecoach" in some places.

These are the pronouns that students use and want their faculty to use when referring to them.

This may be particularly useful for those students who do not identify as male or female or by the gendered pronouns found in many languages. For example, many gender nonbinary students use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir/hirs.

Students who have gender-neutral names may also find this option useful.

A person's pronouns are shared to avoid assumptions about how someone would like to be referred to in the third person. In particular, this may be true for students who are gender nonbinary or who have names that are gender neutral or from a language that is unfamiliar to faculty.

You can enter your gender pronouns on your LawNet profile.

At Columbia, students can select from these options:

  • She/Her/Hers

  • He/Him/His

  • They/Them/Theirs

  • Ze/Hir/Hirs

  • Use my name as my pronoun

You can register or update your pronouns at any time during the semester using the same process as your initial registration. Faculty will not be notified of this change, so students who register their pronouns mid-semester should inform their instructors of the change. 

Once you register your pronouns, they will appear in the Name & Pronoun Recordings section of CourseWorks. If you record your name and register your pronouns, your pronouns will appear under the "Recorded Names" tab. Please note: If you do not record your name, your pronouns will appear under the "Unrecorded Names" tab.

Pronouns will not appear in other CourseWorks areas, such as the class roster. Therefore we encourage faculty and students to review the Name & Pronoun Recordings function regularly. Your parents (or emergency contacts) will not see this information, nor will it appear on your transcript. 

We are working to create as inclusive a space as possible for all students, and we know that it can be frustrating to see your pronouns incorrectly listed. Please write to the CourseWorks team at [email protected] and someone from the team will respond to you within 1-2 business days.

Learning to use the correct pronouns can sometimes take time, and mistakes may happen. The registration of pronouns in use is a new option in CourseWorks, and the Office of University Life and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action are available to assist students, faculty and staff in navigating this new option. The Center for Teaching and Learning is also a resource for faculty who are working to develop teaching practices that recognize issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.